Today I was priviledged to have had the opportunity to meet Dr Roberta Bondar - Canada's first woman in space, before she gave the opening keynote address to the TECH 2006 conference organised by the Hamilton Training Advisory Board of which I am currently a Director.
One of our table asked her what it was like to take off from earth - she described it as what it must be like to be on the top of a Roman Candle and also she had a whole new appreciation for the being in a tin can!
What I liked about her message to the several hundred female high school students was that anything was possible. She said;
"Regardless of your age you have to think of yourself as pioneers" and what she realised quite early on is "I know some of my basic skills are my greatest strengths"
She really did a great job of relating to the audience and helping them to understand that even the perceived technical aspects of the job as an astronaut and the 'glamour' of being in space her 8 and a half day trip still boiled down to not being able to have a shower and spending that time in an outhouse with 6 men!